Activities

Activities

Since its inception, IKEC has significantly improved the organization, cooperation and the flow of information between kava stakeholders. In addition, some of the goals proposed at the stakeholder meeting have already been achieved. This includes the World Health Organization (WHO) decision, in November last year, to re-evaluate all the available data on kava due to the unclear scientific situation and the data presented in the Phytopharm report. Although the WHO can only recommend, the results of this evaluation may increase the pressure on health authorities to re-evaluate their decisions. Pressure has also been intensified at the political level by the governments of the affected South Pacific states. These states put the kava issue on the political agenda of the Commonwealth and the ACP (African Caribbean Pacific) group of states. This initiatives resulted in resolutions at the ACP Conference of Ministers in Brussels (Belgium) (ACP Resolution) and the Commonwealth Head of Governments Meeting in Abuja (Nigeria) (CHGM Resolution). In February 2004, the ACP group of states even enforced a resolution at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) meeting in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). This (ACP-EU JPA Resolution) called on the concerned EU Member States to urgently review, on the basis of scientific evidence, the ban and restriction on, and market recalls of, kava and kava-based products in the EU member states. With these resolutions the affected states want to focus attention onto the dramatic social and economical consequences for the development of some of the least developed South Pacific Islands countries that resulted from the controversial decision by European Health Authorities to ban kava products.